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US Senator says never used an ATM as fees motion fails

21 May 2010  |  8180 views  |  0 atm inserting card

A failed attempt in the US Senate to get ATM fees capped wasn't helped this week when one member admitted he didn't know about the subject because he'd never used one of the mysterious machines.

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin has been lobbying to get a vote on capping the fees banks can charge for using cash machines at 50 cents but his efforts failed, seemingly hindered by ignorance among some colleagues.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson admitted: "I've never used an ATM, so I don't know what the fees are."

"It's true, I don't know how to use one. But I could learn how to do it just like I've...I swipe to get my own gas, buy groceries. I know about the holograms [apparently a reference to checkout barcodes on products]."

Nelson was keen to stress that he is no Luddite, insisting: "I go and get my own seating assignment on an airplane. I mean, I'm not without some skills. I just haven't had the need to use an ATM."

Another US politico, Mike Johanns, admitted he has used ATMs five or fewer times in his life. He likened the Harkin proposal to government price controls - and opposed it.

Earlier this week John Shepherd-Barron, the man credited with inventing the world's first cash machine, died in hospital in Scotland at the age of 84.

The first was commissioned by Barclays and installed at a branch in Enfield in 1967. The invention has since spread around the globe, with hundreds of thousands of ATMs throughout the US, the world's biggest market.

ATMs a mystery to senator - Omaha World-Herald

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